BUCCANEER SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS
Since 1981, there have been 34 sectional champions come out of Covington High School. Eight Covington wrestlers captured the sectional title twice and two wrestlers did it three times.
In 1981, three wrestlers won sectional championships. Brad Hall (98 lbs.), Don Emenegger (132 lbs.) and Kirk Tisdale (155 lbs.). 1981 was followed up by one wrestler, Ryan Kimmel (138 lbs.), in 1982.
Four Covington wrestlers from one of the best wrestling teams in school history earned championships in 1983. Jim Shields (98 lbs.), Rob Vanderhorst (126 lbs.), Craig Vanderhorst (138 lbs.) and Jason Kingrey (167 lbs.) spearheaded a dominating class. Jim Shields, Craig Vanderhorst and Jason Kingrey earned back-to-back sectional championships in 1984 as they were joined by newcomer, Kent Musgrave (126 lbs.)
In 1985, Rob Vanderhorst (138 lbs.) won his second sectional title after failing the previous year.
Another strong group of wrestlers came along in 1986 and 1987 as two wrestlers won back-to-back sectional championships. Brian Olson (185 lbs.) and Scott Tayler (175 lbs.) were joined on the top podium by Mike Hagan (155 lbs.) in 1986 and Chris Nutter (119 lbs.) in 1987.
Two wrestlers from the 1988 team captured sectional gold. Tony Iddings (160 lbs.) and Tim Fitzpatrick (171 lbs.) represented the Buccs as sectional champions. Randy Sowers (160 lbs.) wrestled his way to a sectional title in 1989 to complete a decade of excellence.
The 1990s started with one wrestler becoming the first three-time sectional champion. Eric Vanderhorst won sectional titles in 1990 (152 lbs.), 1991 (171 lbs.) and 1992 (189 lbs).
No Covington wrestlers won sectional titles for three straight years from 1993-95, but Eric Hunt and Jason Durbin broke the streak in 1996. Hunt won his title at 145 lbs. while Durbin finished at the top spot at 189 lbs.
Two out of the next three years saw a Covington wrestler become a sectional champion as Noah Turner won a title at 152 lbs. in 1997 and Scot Fetters joined the list in 1999 at 215 lbs.
The next three years were dominated by Mike Stephan as he won titles in 2000 at 160 lbs., 2001 and 2002 at 171 lbs. Brandon Owens (171 lbs.) and Marti Finfrock (189 lbs.) joined Stephan on the victory stand in 2002 while Steve Batdorf won the 160 lb. class in 2001.
After a three-year droubt, the Buccs finally recorded their 26th sectional champion in junior, Logan Brown in 2005. After an unbeated regular season, Brown continued his domination in the sectional tournament at 189 lbs.
Brown duplicated the feat in 2006 and then went on to become Covington’s first ever state champion and finish with a perfect 52-0 record.
The Buccs would go five years before seeing another wrestler claim a sectional championship as Andrew Dehart captured that title in 2011. Dehart would go on to finish third place at state that year to become Covington’s first four-time state qualifier.
In 2012 the Buccaneers had two wrestlers claim sectional championships, junior Kyler Deeter at 138 pounds and freshman Ben Miller at 160 pounds. The duo led the Buccs to a third place finish at sectionals as a team.
2013 was a historic season for the Buccs as they dominated the sectional tournament, tallying 228.50 team points to claim the first team sectional championship since 1986. The nearest competitor in the team standings was Versailles with 183.00 team points. In all, 11 of Covington’s 12 wrestlers qualified for the district meet as three earned sectional championships, five placed second, one took third and two placed fourth in one of the toughest sectionals in the state. Claiming indivdiual titles that year were Ryan Ford at 126 lbs, Daniel Jennings at 145 pounds and Brian Olson, Jr. at 195 pounds.
As impressive as 2013 was, 2014 was even better as Covington put in a record setting performance at the Division 3 Sectional tournament, winning the 15-team event with 247 team points – the highest total scored in the five years that Lehman has hosted the event. In doing so, the Buccs set a new school record by qualifying all 13 of their competing wrestlers to Districts. Jarred Ganger (126 lbs), Ryan Ford (132) and A.J. Ouellette (195) each won individual titles for Covington.
In 2015, the Buccaneers had three individuals win sectional championships with Jarred Ganger (132), Ryan Ford (138) and Ben Miller (182).
In 2017 Lance Miller won a sectional title at 160 pounds and followed that up with a district championship and runner-up at state.
Covington had four sectional champions in 2019 as the team finished runner-up in the team standings. The individiual sectional champions were Kellan Anderson (106), Cael Vanderhorst (113), Keringten Martin (152) and Gavin McReynolds (182). Anderson, Vanderhorst and Martin all eventually qualified for state with Martin taking 3rd at state and Vanderhorst 4th.
In 2020, Cael Vanderhost (120 lbs.) and Kellan Anderson (126 lbs.) both qualified for state for the third consecutive year and were projected to place in their respective weight classes. Anderson was a sectional champion at 126 pounds as well. Unfortunately, just days before the state tournament was set to begin, the state of Ohio cancelled the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic – taking away the opportunity ofr Vanderhorst to become just the third Buccaneer wrestler to place at state for the third consecutive year.
Wrestling returned in 2021 under “social distancing proticals” and the Buccaneers finished runner-up in the sectional with two wrestlers claiming sectional championships, freshman 106 pounder Michael Hagan and senior 138 pounder Cael Vanderhorst.
In 2022 the Buccaneers claimed their first sectional team title since 2014 and along the way had three sectional champions and qualfied nine wrestlers to the district tournament. Winning sectional titles for Covington were sophomores Jericho Quinter at 113 pounds, Michael Hagan at 120 pounds and Chase Vanderhorst at 126 pounds. Hagan, a returning state placer from 2021, became a two-time sectional champion.
INDIVIDUAL SECTIONAL CHAMPIONS
|Brian Olson, Jr.||2013||195|